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Polly Samson Recommends

Recommendations from the author of 'A Theatre for Dreamers'

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Polly Samson

Polly Samson is a writer and lyricist. She has written two previous novels, two short story collections and lyrics for Pink Floyd. A Theatre for Dreamers is Samson's third novel and immediately entered the Sunday Times bestseller list. A 1960s extravaganza set on a sun-washed Greek island in a milieu of famous artists, it is the perfect literary escape.

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Order your copy of 'A Theatre for Dreamers' here.

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My Cousin Rachel

Daphne DuMaurier, paperback


' I love having to make up my own mind about a character’s virtue or otherwise and du Maurier does ambiguity so well.  This is my favourite of her novels and I am very much on the side of Rachel.  The dog in the novel is drawn to her and, as du Maurier was a great dog lover herself, I think that’s the greatest clue to Rachel’s innocence.'

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The Road Home

Rose Tremain, paperback


' This is the modern novel that I re-read more than any other.  Lev is so brilliantly drawn that it’s like meeting an old friend each time I do.  The first chapter is a masterclass in setting up character and Lev’s story of survival as an economic migrant in the UK is as passionate as it is humane.'


Redhead by the Side of the Road

Anne Tyler, hardback


' Anne Tyler has never let me down and I love every one of her novels.  My favourite is Breathing Lessons but this new one comes pretty close.  Tyler’s characters live on in my mind long after I’ve finished reading and Micah, the tidy-freak, commitment-phobe, middle-aged man at the centre of this is no exception. '



Maggie O'Farrell, hardback


' What a tour de force.  I was gripped by the story of Agnes and William Shakespeare’s love and life and loss but the part I liked best of all is the imaginary journey of an infected flea from a pet monkey in Alexandria to Stratford.'

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You Will be Safe Here

Damian Barr, paperback


'It’s hard to believe that this is a first novel. Set in South Africa over two time frames - one modern, the other during the Boer War -  both parts are deeply affecting about the strength of love and of the human spirit during times of incarceration, fear, cruelty and prejudice.'

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The Lost Daughter

Elena Ferrante, paperback


'I think I might love Ferrante’s stand-alone novels even more than the Naples series. This one is about Leda, a middle-aged divorce, holidaying alone and having to revisit undigested truths about herself as both a mother and a daughter. Chilling and beautiful.'